Connect, HP's largest user group, says it is trying to convince Oracle to change its decision to end support of Intel's Itanium platform.
largest user community is the latest group urging Oracle executives to reconsider
their decision to discontinue support for Intel's Itanium platform.
In a statement
released April 13, the board of directors of the HP user group
said it would continue to support HP and Oracle customers
running applications on Itanium-based systems despite Oracle's March 22
decision. Oracle executives, saying it was clear that Intel would continue to
expand the Xeon processor line and start phasing out its controversial Itanium
chips, said they would no longer develop software for Itanium
reacted, saying Oracle's decision was a cynical move designed to bolster its
own struggling SPARC/Solaris hardware business-which Oracle gained when it
acquired Sun Microsystems last year for $7.4 billion-at the expense of its
software customers. Some analysts have said that at least half all Itanium
systems run Oracle software.
Leaders of the
Connect group said Oracle's move has enraged much of its membership. In a
, Chris Koppe, president of the Connect board, said that
in his 25 years as an HP user, nothing has affected the group membership more
than Oracle's Itanium decision.
"In a time of
economic challenge, it's unconscionable for any company, much less a company
like Oracle, to cause such hardship on its customers," Koppe said.
contingency of our community is made up of users running HP-UX and OpenVMS on
Integrity servers. They are clearly disturbed by Oracle's decision to stop
developing applications for Intel Itanium processors and really hope Oracle
will reconsider its decision," Nina Buik, chief marketing officer at Connect,
said in a statement. "HP and Oracle customers are now going to have to adjust
their business plans and rethink future investments."
executives said they were making the move in the best interest of their
customers. In doing so, Oracle joined Microsoft and Red Hat in becoming the
third major software maker over the past two years to stop developing for
Itanium. Oracle's move angered both Intel and HP. In a statement the day of Oracle's
decision, David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP's
Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking business, blasted the move as
shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing
them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity in a shameless gambit
to limit fair competition," Donatelli said in a statement.
HP is by far
the biggest user of Itanium processors, running them in its high-end Integrity
and NonStop systems.
executives disputed Oracle's view of Itanium, saying they had a roadmap for the
platform stretching out at least 10 years, starting with the next-generation
chip, code-named "Poulson." At the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing April 12,
Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group,
said the eight-core Poulson is on schedule and will be released next year.
"Kittson" is expected to be released two years after that.
continue to put high-end features into the Xeon
officials have said they see customers making their decisions based on
operating systems: Xeon for Windows, Linux and Solaris; and Itanium for HP-UX.
user group is urging members to leave their comments on the Connect Website,
with Koppe and others hoping that the feedback will convince Oracle to change
HP on April 13
released comments from a number of users, all critical of Oracle's move.
made significant investments in an HP infrastructure that best supports our
mission-critical computing needs with Oracle software on Integrity servers,"
Carol Skarlat, executive vice president and CTO at Stuller, a jewelry
manufacturer and distributor, said in a statement. "Forcing customers into
changing platforms impacts our business strategy and partnerships. We rely on
both HP and Oracle as significant business partners in running our business. Having
one partner dictate platform strategy is unthinkable."
concerned about the thousands of customers which HP and Oracle share and the
effect this rather abrupt and uncoordinated decision by Oracle has on the
future of the applications used by these customers," Bill Pedersen, a systems
consultant with Computer Consulting System Services, said. "With Oracle's
announcement, our organization is exploring other database options."
In his video
blog, Koppe said Oracle's announcement puts its customers in a bind, forcing
many of them to have to support multiple hardware stacks, which drives up costs
in such areas as procurement, power, cooling and downtime. In addition, having
so many hardware environments invites complexity and interoperability issues.
He said he
understood Oracle's position of wanting to reduce software-development costs
around Itanium, but said such initiatives as charging customers extra for
running Oracle on Itanium would have solved the company's problems while not
disrupting their users' businesses.
"If Oracle was
really thinking about its customers ... certainly there must have been a more
customer-friendly option," Koppe said.